How to Use iPhone Low Power Mode

Instantly save battery life on your iPhone

There are dozens of tips and tricks to help you squeeze a long life out of your iPhone, but if your battery is very low and you won't be able to charge for a while, you can conserve battery life with iPhone Low Power Mode. It disables certain features and settings on your phone to help make the battery last longer.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 9 and up. If you've got an Apple Watch, too, check out How to Use Power Reserve on Apple Watch.

How to Turn On or Off iPhone Low Power Mode

Some estimates have found that Low Power Mode can reduce battery use by 33% to 47%. There are several ways to enable Low Power Mode on your iPhone. The easiest method is to tell Siri to "Turn on low power mode." The option for Low Power Mode is also found in Settings > Battery, as well as in Control Center (see the steps below).

Three ways to enable Low Power Mode on iPhone

Another way to enable Low Power Mode on iPhone is when your battery is very low. You'll see a pop-up asking about Low Power Mode when the battery drops to 20%, and again at 10%.

You can turn off Low Power mode very easily by flipping these 'turn it on' actions. Just tell Siri "Turn off low power mode", or manually toggle it off in Settings or Control Center.

How to Use iPhone Low Power Mode From Control Center

On iOS 11 and up, you can customize the options that are available in Control Center. One of the changes you can make is to add a Low Power Mode icon for easy access. Here's what to do:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Go to Control Center.

  3. Tap the green ​+ icon next to Low Power Mode to move it to the upper section of icons, which are the controls that appear in Control Center.

    Customize Controls, Low Power Mode buttons in iOS Settings
  4. Open Control Center by pulling down from the top of the screen or up from the bottom (depending on your iPhone model), then tap the battery icon to toggle Low Power Mode on or off.

What Does iPhone Low Power Mode Do?

When you enable iPhone Low Power Mode, the battery icon turns yellow to indicate that the phone is working to make the battery last longer. While this is great, there are trade-offs. These are some things that happen when Low Power Mode is turned on:

  • Reduces Speed: The speed of the iPhone processor influences how much battery it uses. Low Power Mode reduces the performance of the processor and graphics chip to conserve battery. This means the phone will be slower and may not perform as well in games and other graphics-intensive tasks.
  • Disables Background App Refresh: The iPhone learns how you use apps and proactively updates them to ensure that the latest data is waiting for you when you're ready. It's a cool feature, but it also uses battery. Low Power Mode temporarily suspends this feature.
  • Auto-Lock Happens Faster: Regardless of your normal auto-lock settings, your iPhone will auto-lock in 30 seconds when Low Power Mode is on since more screen time uses more battery.
  • Turns Off Email Fetching: The iPhone can be set up to periodically check for new emails. Low Power Mode turns this feature off. You'll need to manually check for new messages (open Mail and pull down from the top to refresh). 
  • Disables Automatic Downloads: Low Power Mode prevents automatic music downloads and automatic app updates from using the battery.
  • Suspends Visual Effects and Animations: iOS is packed with visual effects and animations that make using your phone more fun, but they also use battery. IPhone Low Power Mode turns them off to conserve power.
  • Disables "Hey Siri": The phone uses extra power while listening for this phrase that activates your personal assistant. Having Low Power Mode on prevents Siri from listening for commands.
  • Pauses iCloud Photo Backups: Backing up photos to iCloud uses significant power, so cloud backups temporarily pause while in Low Power Mode.

The amount of extra battery life iPhone Low Power Mode delivers depends on how you use your phone. According to Apple, the average person can expect to get up to an extra few hours of power.

Can You Use iPhone Low Power Mode All the Time?

Low Power Mode can give the iPhone multiple hours of extra battery life, so you may be tempted to use it all the time. However, having Low Power Mode on all the time reduces power, disables apps, and suspends many features. If you don't care if these features are turned off, there isn't any harm in keeping Low Power Mode on perpetually.

Low Power Mode turns off automatically (that is, battery conservation will stop) when the battery's charge exceeds 80%.

  • How do I use Low Power Mode on my iPad?

    There's no Low Power Mode on the iPad, but you can save battery by reducing the screen brightness, turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, or avoiding power-hungry apps.

  • How do I turn on Low Power Mode on my Mac?

    To turn on Low Power Mode on a Mac, select the Apple icon > System Preferences > Battery > Battery. Check the box next to Low power mode.

  • How do I turn off my iPhone?

    To turn off an iPhone X and later, press and hold the Side button+Volume Down, then move the power off slider. On older iPhones, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button.

  • How do I show my iPhone battery life as a percentage?

    To show your iPhone battery life as a percentage, open Control Center and look next to the battery icon in the upper-right corner. On older iPhones, go to Settings > Battery or Settings > General > Usage and turn on Battery Percentage.

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